Tag Archives: long run

Help for a lonely runner?

My longest run before the marathon is coming up on Saturday. I have to admit I’m a little apprehensive about it, because it will be a 32k solo run — about 3 and a half hours for me; it really sucks to be slow!

A friend is driving me out to Sidney, and I will run the entire length of the Lochside Trail to downtown Victoria. By myself. On a trail I’m not entirely familiar with, since I’ve only run it from the Blue Bridge to Island View Road. I’m hoping that by starting in Sidney, I’ll get the unfamiliar half over with first, while I’m still fresh.

Let’s face it: running for 3+ hours gets boring and it hurts. That’s why I join the clinics at Frontrunners: for the camaraderie and companionship. Other people take the edge off. There’s strength in numbers. Shared pain is more bearable, and actually feels like an accomplishment when it’s finally over.

I’ll be all right, I can do this. After all, I will be running the race solo (however there will be other runners on the course). I ran 2:45 mostly solo while I was visiting Regina a couple of weeks ago; a friend did join me for 5k or so, which definitely helped.

Is there anyone in Greater Victoria who wants to join me for a portion of my run on Saturday – either on foot or on a bike? I would appreciate the companionship and support, even for a little while.


Marathoners’ Torture #1: 10-step guide for bathing in ice.

Running is torture on feet, so is wearing high-heeled shoes at work all day. I’ve been through months of recovery for plantar fasciitis and am determined not to go there again, but equally determined to keep running and to wear pretty shoes. I’m my podiatrist’s nightmare.

Here is my 10-step evening ritual designed to keep me on my feet.
What you’ll need:

  • hot tea,
  • your favourite comfy chair and blanket,
  • a fluffy towel,
  • your favourite TV show (or your mobile device or laptop),
  • a basin,
  • two trays of ice cubes,
  • a watch or timer,
  • fortitude.
  • Optional: a glass of wine, scotch or tequila.

What you’ll do:

  1. Make tea and have it ready next to your comfy chair, blanket and timer.
  2. Turn on your favourite TV show. Make sure it’s something absorbing like Battlestar Galactica or Dexter. Alternatively, get out your mobile device or laptop and log in to Twitter.
  3. Fill the basin only to about 3-5 centimetres (1 to 1-and-a-half inches) of cold water.
  4. Place basin, trays of ice cubes next to comfy chair.
  5. Sit with feet bare and blanket over legs. Set stopwatch or timer for about 6 minutes. (You might want to start out with 2 or 3 minutes).
  6. Take a deep breath.
  7. Plunge feet into cold water.
  8. Immediately dump the two trays of ice cubes into the water around your feet. Try not to howl, it will scare your family and pets.
  9. Keep breathing! Keep your feet in there! Google your exes, Tweet your pain, fantasize about Michael C. Hall – but stay with it!
  10. When your timer goes off, you may gratefully and with much drama take your feet out of the water and wrap them in the towel.
  11. Optional: enjoy your wine, scotch or tequila.


  • Do daily for injury prevention
  • To be enjoyed with a regular regimen of stretching and strength training.
  • Modification: do this with your legs in the bathtub (and more ice) after a 2+ hour training run or a race. Some races provide ice water barrels to jump in afterwards.

I’m not gonna lie to you, this is painful, but then so is running a marathon with injured feet. Embrace the suck. Besides, it feels so damn good when you take your feet out of that damn ice!

(With thanks to Duane Banman, the massage therapist who urged me to adopt this practice. His lair is otherwise known to marathoners and triathletes in Regina, SK as “Duane’s House of Pain.”)